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Rental market verging on ‘crisis’ levels

24 April 2014 Steven Cross

One state-based institute has labelled new vacancy rate data as a grim indicator of an undersupplied capital city.


According to the REINSW, the number of properties for rent across Sydney dropped 0.3 per cent to 1.4 per cent.

“We haven’t seen vacancy rates right across Sydney this low since November 2011,” REINSW president Malcolm Gunning said.


According to Mr Gunning, Sydney is going backwards in terms of available rentals, and has called for ‘something to be done’ to ensure prospective tenants can live comfortably in Australia’s largest city.

 “Inner Sydney vacancy rates fell 0.2 per cent, the lowest across the metropolitan area, to 1.3 per cent. Middle and outer suburbs declined 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively to 1.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent,” Mr Gunning said.

“We look with interest to the direction new Premier Mike Baird will take in regard to property.

“His support is essential to ensure that the best and brightest remain in NSW. This can only happen if he identifies the inequities of the current planning system as well as lack of affordable housing and incentives for first home buyers,” Mr Gunning said.

According to Housing Industry of Australia (HIA) economist Geordan Murray, housing starts have generally been strong in NSW – but the latest data shows this may not still be the case.

“Throughout the duration of the recovery to date, growth has been driven primarily by the NSW and WA markets. Given that the level of activity in these two markets has now reached historic highs, growth beyond the current levels could to be more difficult,” he said.

Referring to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released last week, Mr Murray said an increase in housing starts in the December quarter were driven from Victoria.

“Interestingly, it was neither NSW nor WA that drove the growth in the December quarter. Dwelling commencements in NSW rose by a relatively modest 2.8 per cent, while commencements in WA declined by 1.3 per cent.

 “The most notable contributor to the strong growth in dwelling commencements in the December quarter was Victoria, where commencement numbers jumped 11.3 per cent in the quarter owing to a 33 per cent jump in multi-unit commencements,” said Mr Murray.

In other areas, Newcastle’s vacancy rate was 2.5 per cent, a rise of 0.1 per cent, and the Hunter overall was 3.1 per cent, down 0.1 per cent.

Wollongong’s availability was 2.3 per cent, up from 1.6 per cent, which influenced the Illawarra’s vacancy rate of 2.1 per cent, up from 1.7 per cent.

Residential vacancy rates on the Mid-North Coast were the lowest outside the Sydney metropolitan area at 1.4 per cent, down 0.3 per cent.

The area with the greatest availability was Coffs Harbour at 3.8 per cent, up 0.8 per cent.

Rental market verging on ‘crisis’ levels
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